Tags: EU | Greece | Financial | Crisis

Merkel: Greece Hasn't Requested Financial Aid from Germany

Friday, 05 Mar 2010 01:25 PM

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that Greece has not made any request for financial support and she called for an end to market speculation that the indebted country will default.

Speaking to reporters in the German capital with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou by her side, Merkel said that "Greece did not ask for financial support" in their talks.

The Berlin visit was part of a tour by the Greek leader that started in Luxembourg and takes him to Paris on Sunday.

"Germany can express its solidarity," Merkel said, adding that she made it clear that "we are here to help, show understanding."

Her comments echoed previous remarks made this week amid market and media speculation that the European Union may be preparing some sort of bailout aimed at helping Greece cope with its economic woes.

Merkel called for an end to market speculation that the heavily indebted country would default, and added that her country could help Greece with its expertise and in other ways.

"Greece and Germany will work together toward a further modernization of Greece," she added.

Papandreou repeated what Merkel said, telling reporters that "Greece has not asked for financial support."

Merkel said that, though Greece has faced the worst problems, Germany and other European Union countries have also had to implement austerity measures amid the global economic crisis.

"We have a very good understanding of each other," she said.

Their remarks came after the Greek parliament approved new spending cuts and taxes aimed at defusing the country's debt crisis, while protesters opposed to the measures fought with police outside.

Riot police used tear gas and baton charges to disperse rioters who chased the ceremonial guards in 19th-century kilts and tasseled garters away from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the parliament, while a top trade union leader was roughed up by left-wing protesters.

It was the biggest outburst of violence since Greece's debt crisis escalated late last year. Police say they arrested five people, and seven officers were injured.

Greece's financial troubles have shaken the European Union and its shared euro currency, whose rules were supposed to prevent governments from running up too much debt.

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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